An open letter to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
I was concerned with the tone of your recent article on The Huffington Post. I speak as the mother of a child on the autism spectrum, and I also speak as a teacher. Frankly, your writing was inflammatory and biased. Here is my professional assessment.
You chose to use dramatic vocabulary such as "brain-killing poison" rather than defining such chemicals or citing actual resources and studies. You referred vaguely to "patronizing" and "poisonous" attacks on a specific group of people (mothers of autistic children who espouse a particular viewpoint), but you did not support your point of view with details or examples. Leaning on your own personal experiences, no matter how extensive those conversations, emails, and letters, does not prove a particular side or argument correct.
By describing Katie Wright and her group as "calm, grounded, and extraordinarily patient....highly educated..." you managed to imply that parents who disagree must be otherwise. By claiming that "...a rational person might do some more investigation", you again imply that those who disagree must be irrational and have not done their homework.
The only source you quote is your own personal web site. Where are the "hundreds of research studies from dozens of countries..." to which you allude? Where are the links to the other research, that which you call"flimsy" and "borderline fraud," part of the "...campaign of obfuscation and public deception"?
The piece is, quite simply, poorly written. It is laden with assumptions, name-calling, and emotionally charged words. It is missing research, references, and "dispassionate and diligent investigation" of its own.
Grade? D minus. Mr. Kennedy, in order to be convincing, even opinion needs to be backed up with facts.
Daisy Stumble It!